The news that Scarlett Johansson will play the role of a trans-man in the upcoming film Rub & Tug has caused controversy. Many in the LGBQT community view it as erasure and say the role should not go to a cis-gender person. Deadline reports,
“Rupert Sanders will direct Scarlett Johansson in the fact-based story of a woman who flourished in a male-dominated business of massage parlors and prostitution by essentially taking on the physical identity of a man. New Regency prevailed in a worldwide rights deal over five other bidders. Sources said the hope is to start production in February at a budget north of $30 million.
The controversy calls attention to cis-gendered actors who have won awards for playing trans roles. Jefferey Tambor won two Emmy’s for playing a trans-woman in Transparent.
Johansson, who will play Dante “Tex” Gill in the upcoming film, found herself the topic of conversation last year when she was cast to play a role that was originally Japanese for Ghost in the Shell.
Her representative is also under fire after being contacted to respond to recent controversy telling Bustle,
“Tell them that they can be directed to Jeffrey Tambor, Jared Leto, and Felicity Huffman’s reps for comment.”